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Salma Hayek and Unilever voted U.G.L.Y. icons of the year


Salma Hayek was named the U.G.L.Y. celebrity of the Year 2006. This most prestigious honor was bestowed upon her by the board of Hey U.G.L.Y., the teen self-esteem building nonprofit organization.

Salma’s show, Ugly Betty, cinched the vote. Through this successful television series on ABC, Salma is helping teens see that it is okay to be themselves and that they don’t have to be, as she says, “ beautiful, so skinny, so rich, so famous.”

Salma Hayek was selected from hundreds of celebrities whose self-esteem building statements are displayed on the Celebrity Quotes page of Hey U.G.L.Y.’s website, “The Celebrity Quotes page is everyone’s favorite,” said Betty Hoeffner, President of Hey U.G.L.Y. “Teens report feeling better knowing that celebrities like Salma, Ashton Kutcher, Vince Vaughn, Halle Berry, Ryan Cabrera and so many more, struggle with some of the same self-esteem issues they do.”

While Salma is doing great things with Ugly Betty, Unilever’s “Real Beauty Campaign” for Dove was named the U.G.L.Y. company of the year.

“Both Salma Hayek and Unilever have done much this year to help drive home the point that we are ’enough’ just the way we are,” explained Betty Hoeffner, president of Hey U.G.L.Y. “Low self-esteem is a critical issue facing teens today. It has been proven that low self-esteem affects learning and can lead to such problems as delinquency, unhealthy relationships, eating disorders, drugs and suicide.” According to most estimates, about 30 percent of today’s teenagers are dropping out of high school and every school day 160,000 students miss school because of bullying.

“By using the word Ugly, Salma is helping to turn that negative word into a positive,” said Hoeffner. “That is the impetus behind Hey U.G.L.Y. too. We choose the name ”ugly“ because it is a word that teens use to describe others, and most significantly, themselves. When they label themselves ugly or call a fellow student ugly they are unleashing a powerful force of negative energy. When teens see how we converted ugly to Unique Gifted Lovable You, they start calling each other, and themselves, U.G.L.Y. with a whole new perspective. The negativity is gone and in its stead is empowerment.” Recognizing the value of teaching the concept of turning negatives into positives, Hey U.G.L.Y. developed acronym contests, asking teens to take words like Geek, Dork, Stupid, Loser and Fat and turn them into positives. One of their contest winners converted “Geek” into Gifted Enchanted Educated Kid. A teen in Texas converted “Loser” into Love Others Show Everyone Respect.

Hey U.G.L.Y. Inc., NFP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower teens with self-esteem building tools, to help them counter challenges such as eating disorders, bullying, violence, substance abuse and suicide. U.G.L.Y is an acronym that stands for: Unique Gifted Lovable You. The organization’s website,, lists celebrity quotes about self-esteem and body image and features self-esteem building articles, contests and exercises. Hey U.G.L.Y. is the creator of the in-school curriculum called “eM-POWER” which is available to junior high and high-schools across the country.


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